Wednesday, August 26, 2015

How I survived 18 to 25

For me, survival is mostly psychological. Getting enough exercise and eating right wasn't that much of a problem for me then because my favorite things to do were to take off on weekends and climb a mountain, go hiking or go surfing or skiing or rock climbing. So, exercise was just something I did for fun.

So, the problems I dealt with then were mostly psychological like "Do I want to be alive long term?"

This sounds kind of crazy I know now. But, that is what people were thinking my age a lot and many many of us died either in in the war inViet Nam, Drugs, racing cars taking risks of all kinds etc.

But, I was lucky in that I had good parents and good friends that saw me through. One of the biggest breakthroughs for me was to discover the magazine "Psychology Today". Neither of my parents had been to college so neither of them had really studied psychology, philosophy or sociology or social psychology. So, when I found the magazine "Psychology Today" in my college library at Palomar College in San Marcos, California it was a Godsend because i realized most of the things I was guilting myself for I wasn't even responsible for because these things came from the confusion and mistakes of relatives from my parents on back through grandparents add infinitum.

So, I didn't really blame them for all this because all of them were just doing the best they could for thousands of years but what it did for me was take a 1000 pound weight off my back in guilt. Once that was gone I was a free man and could be a free thinker and become successful in life and happy.

But, first I had to get free from things I wasn't even responsible for which was what was great about reading psychology today, the magazine. I saw things in a completely different context and I was free!

So, a free thinker I have stayed ever since. I can't say i was really happy in my 20s because there were just too many unrealistic expectations. But, once I gave all that up I was really really happy from about 32 to my early 40s or so which made my life work. Then my 40s were both sad and happy in many different ways and then I almost died of a heart virus.

But, it helped me get over middle aged crazy. When you think for 8 months you likely are going to die and then the doctors say, "Oh. we figured out what was wrong and you are going to be okay now."

This really changes you. And so I became grateful for each new moment I had left with friends and relatives and stopped worrying about aging so much. This was a really good thing. When each moment is precious and you see it also might be your last, you are grateful for every moment you have left.

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